JOURNALISM THAT MATTERS is a community of media innovators and stakeholders that blazes paths and builds bridges to a new news ecology. We convene, connect, and inspire the diverse, engaged citizens who are molding and leading the media of tomorrow.

JOURNALISM THAT MATTERS hosts conversations with a purpose. It engages the entire system of journalism – reporters, editors, publishers, camera people, photographers, academics and audience, from newspapers, radio, television, and online media, including both mainstream and alternative sources – with the changing nature and definition of news in a changing world. The point is to recommit journalism to what is fundamental for connecting news with its audience so that it serves and sustains us.

The New News Ecology

The future of journalism centers around the power of storytelling to create healthy communities. Specifically:

Cultivating “healthy journalists”, renewing the inner life of the journalist;

Preparing the next generation, with an eye towards the emerging citizen journalist; and

Inventing a new economic model. As one participant put it, “Rather than further compromise the work, it’s time to separate journalism from its current funding sources and find a new model.”

Some of its seeds include:

· Journalism as a conversation – a groundbreaking shift from journalism as a lecture;

· Shaping a new “cultural narrative”— Recovering the mythic story of journalists as conveners and navigators through a changing world prepares them to support communities in shaping a new national “master narrative” for our times.

· High tech/high touch journalism – Whether on the web or in the café, new storytelling forms are emerging that engage us on cell phones and iPods, and in gathering places with food, music and the arts; and

· Ready, Fire, Aim – A strategy of “just do it,” moving from idea (ready) to implementation (fire) and then watching the results and adjusting (aim).   This formula creates rapid experimentation and learning and avoids analysis paralysis.

By metaphorically removing the newsroom walls and taking the journalist out of the cube, the qualities of the new news ecology emerge:



Journalism as…



low tolerance for experimentation (like peanut butter in the fridge; it doesn’t move)

community of innovation

central authority

community connector







Journalist as…


community member

lone wolf

collaborative partner



focused on the external world

focused on their inner life and the external world

expert, arbiter of truth

coordinator, facilitator, convener, evaluator, refiner

professional, dispassionate

professional and citizen, passion in the mix

content creator

content creator and guide

Content that…


inspires engagement

publisher owns and creates

public owns and creates

answers who, what when, where, why and how

answers who, what when, where, why, how, and what’s possible now

pours around the ads

serves a greater good

follows the inverted pyramid

edited for readability, not style

Stories sourced…

from within the news organization

from many people and places

are deadline driven

are continually unfolding

Dissemination of stories…

media specific

multi-purpose (e.g., print, broadcast, web, podcast, cell phone, etc.)


ad supported

multiple sources of support

high cost of production and distribution

low-cost distribution

most of the cost is not journalism

costs mostly journalism related

Education …

for journalists

* journalists
* the public
* “citizen journalists”

in journalism’s values and tools

* media literacy for everyone
* journalism’s values and tools
* the art of engagement

Learn about the project

Get involved

Contact Us


One response to “About

  1. Pingback: Minnesota News Council » Blog Archive » “Journalism that Matters” comes to the Twin Cities

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